Are you interested in open-minded spiritual community?
We are a friendly, liberal and inclusive church in the heart of Bolton.
To find out more have a look around our website, or join us this Sunday.
SUNDAY SERVICE BEGINS AT 10.45am
Bank Street, Bolton Town Centre, BL1 1TS
Video Welcome Message:
Our purpose is
to inspire spiritual journeys
engaging with the world
with open hearts and open minds.
Merry Christmas from Bank Street!
You're most welcome at any of our seasonal services:
Blue Christmas Service Sunday 18th December: 10.45am
Short, reflective time for those not feeling Christmasy
Carol Service - Sunday 18th December: 3pm
Service of carols, readings and music. Tea party after Carol service. Come and sign up at chapel by the 11th December
Winter Solstice Celebration - Wednesday 21st December 3.45pm
A short earth-centred spiritual celebration
Christmas Day Service 11am
Celebration Service for Christmas Day
Annual General Meeting 10th April 2016
Our purpose is to inspire spiritual journeys, engaging with the world with open hearts and open minds
As Minister of Bank Street Unitarian Chapel it is my role to lead and coordinate the spiritual ministry of the congregation and to resource the whole congregation to fulfil our stated purpose.
The purpose of an Annual General Meeting is for all the membership to see clearly how we're doing and where we need to be heading in the future. So how are we doing?
We inspire spiritual journeys. Our "thematic ministry" of monthly themes allows us to deeply explore different dimensions of the spiritual life (and of life itself). This allows us to go deeper into a spiritual topic as adults and as children in Junior Church. Our monthly discussion group allows us to explore these topics even further in company with others. Although these meetings are well attended, I would welcome many more people coming along. You don't have to commit to every one, you can just come to whatever you can manage.
We also continue to inspire spiritual journeys with a variety of activities outside our usual Sunday services. In the last year we have run the meditation group, the Spiritual Film Club, How to be a Unitarian course and Celtic Morning and Celtic Night Prayer during Lent. Thursday evening "be" worship was very poorly attended last year so I have decided to retire this for now.
I work with the Pastoral Care Team to lead our ministry to love and care for one another, prioritising those most in need, and balancing the needs of both established members and new members and visitors.
We engage with the world. Often working with others, and sometimes on the congregation's behalf I work to bring our values and spirit into Bolton. Working alongside others I keep our profile high with updating our website, using social media, appearing on local radio and contacting newspapers.
The congregation had a high profile at the first Bolton Pride, hosting interfaith prayers, giving out lots of leaflets on the Family Day and I spoke at the Hate Crime Vigil alongside other community leaders. We gained good publicity for gaining our same sex marriage license and our first same sex wedding is booked in for 2017.
I am a Chaplain at the University, offering conversation and meditation every week on campus. I also continue as a Bolton Street Angel and we should be proud that we still support this important project. Nationally I have been a tutor on the Ministry in the Making conference for student ministers, and I am a mentor for a ministry student. I also write for different Unitarian publications.
The growth and health of Bank Street. Overall we are a healthy congregation, but our growth has stunted this year. Sunday attendance has dropped from 36.6 in 2014 to 33.7 in 2015. However our membership grew from 51 people to 56 people, largely due to welcoming into membership the former members of Halliwell Road Church. So we are welcoming in new people, but also losing attendance due to incidents of illness and difficulties for some.
Taking the long view we can see that over the last five years we have grown in membership and in attendance by about 10%. During the same period the Unitarian denomination as a whole has declined by over 10%. We are a healthy and growing congregation and we should celebrate that. However the challenges we face are considerable, as they are for every religious community.
The future. I believe it is now time to step back, and look in depth about how we're doing and what our vision is for the future. We need to think about where we've been in the last five years and think about where we want to go in the next five years. In the autumn I'm going to be on sabbatical, which will not only allow me time for rest and spiritual renewal but also time for me to think about the spiritual renewal of our community. I have always believed that our health and strength comes not just from busy meetings and planning but from rooting ourselves in the Spirit Within that gives us Life. I believe we must continue to operate in this way.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for being such a wonderful, spiritual, funny, loving, hard-working, forward-looking, open-minded, open-hearted community. Each of you individually, and you as a community are quite wonderful. Once again I am hugely privileged to be the Minister of Bank Street Unitarian Chapel Bolton.
Special announcement January 2016
Bank Street Unitarian Chapel Bolton is delighted to announce that we are now licensed to conduct same sex marriages. After a somewhat lengthy process of form-filling we are delighted that we can now celebrate the love of all couples and treat both same sex and different sex couples equally in our marriage ministry. The time for marriage equality has come. We believe it is love and commitment that makes a marriage and we are very pleased that we can now make this a reality in our community.